Everyone wants to be appreciated. People want to feel and know they matter. Unfortunately, our culture in the business world leans more towards critique than appreciation and competition more than support. Knowing how to share authentic appreciation is an invaluable skill for strengthening relationships.
Here are four tips that help:
Be Prompt - It’s best to share appreciation immediately, if possible. If you wait too long, you are likely to overanalyze, script yourself, and lose authenticity. The more delay, the less authenticity. Another risk with delay is the person you are appreciating may not remember the action/event details, and therefore, your appreciation won’t have its intended impact.
Be Specific - When you share your appreciation with someone, be specific and brief. Too many words and ambiguity dilute the impact.
Examples: “Thanks for covering for me yesterday, Bob; that was helpful.”
“Bob, I appreciate you covering for me for one hour yesterday. Because you were willing to step up, I was able to get my daughter to the doctor on time. Thank you so much.”
Notice Little Things - There are many underappreciated people in every organization. Running a business provides thousands of opportunities to notice the small actions every day and appreciate them.
Example: “Bob, I want you to know that I notice you are always cleaning and straightening our meeting room. I appreciate that you take the initiative to keep our space looking great.”
Don’t Patronize - A little word goes a long way. It’s better to be prompt, specific, and brief with appreciation, but also don’t do it a lot. Have a goal of one shared appreciation per day. Over time you will build the habit, and this skill will become an unconscious competence. Be careful with saying the same thing each time as that will appear insincere.
Promptly sharing specific, succinct appreciation with people in your life will not ONLY strengthen your relationship. It will also profoundly affect your mindset as you will start perceiving and focusing on what’s going right instead of what’s going wrong. So try it; I know you’ll like it.
I truly appreciate you giving me your time to read this blog….see what I mean?